Visit to a Small Planet Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Whose pet does Ellen say the cat is?

2. What two elements does Kreton link together as he tries to entice Conrad to war?

3. What does Ellen want Kreton to teach her after the first mind trick?

4. What will Kreton's force field put out of business?

5. What does Roger claim the Russians are responsible for?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In the book, there are several references made to time travel, and the effects of such an event. Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. If Kreton's war had taken place, would history have changed? Why? What was Kreton's intended result? Would that have affected the future of the planet? Why or why not?

2. Kreton notes that history books would have to be altered. In real life, are history books ever changed? Why or why not? What does this say about time? What does this say about our perception of time? Was Kreton right, therefore, when he said time was relative? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

One of the themes that runs through the play is the infatuation of the characters with sex. Ellen, Conrad, Reba, and the aide all think at various times in the novel of sex and sexual relations. Vidal seems to use the play to explore the attitudes of Americans in the time period toward sex.

Choose one of the following options and address/discuss the questions:

1. Give several examples of what the characters in the play think of sex. Is it portrayed as a method of procreation, or an enjoyable pastime? What are the symbolic links presented? Why are these important?

2. Ellen notes that sex is a taboo subject, although is it always on the mind. Kreton notes the oddity of sex as taboo while violence is widespread. What do you think of that argument? Is Kreton right? Why do we treat these subjects as we do? What makes sex so taboo?

3. The concept of sex has drastically changed since the writing of the play. Compare and contrast the concept of sex as it was in the 1950s to current notions. What are similarities? What are differences? What caused the shift in perspective?

Essay Topic 3

In the play, martial law is declares as part of security measures. Discuss the following in terms of martial law in the play:

Part 1. Who declares Martial law in the play? Why? What is the purpose of martial law in the play?

Part 2. What are the consequences of such a declaration on the inhabitants of the Spelding household? On Conrad? On Kreton? On viewers of Roger's broadcast?

Part 3. Do you think martial law is fair to innocent individuals such as the Speldings? If so, what are your justifications? If not, what would your alternate solution be to keep from having international panic?

(see the answer keys)

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